Pignatello named new LHU president

LOCK HAVEN – The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education in Harrisburg has unanimously selected Robert M. Pignatello, a senior vice president at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), to be the next president of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, effective July 1.

Mr. Pignatello will be presented to the university community-including students, faculty, staff, alumni and others-during a welcoming reception to be held at 10 a.m., April 11, at the University Commons Amphitheater.

Mr. Pignatello has more than 20 years experience as a college senior executive and administrator. He has served as Hunter College’s senior vice president for finance and administration and chief operating officer since February 2016.

“Mr. Pignatello is a seasoned leader with experiences from both inside and outside of higher education,” said Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira. “His tremendous list of accomplishments throughout his career speaks for itself. We are confident he will provide Lock Haven University outstanding leadership as it continues to advance its mission of serving students, the Lock Haven community and the Commonwealth.”

Hunter College is a flagship university of the CUNY system, with 23,000 students and an annual operating budget of $169 million. As senior vice president and COO, Mr. Pignatello oversees the college’s financial planning and budget, business services, human resources, technology services, facilities, public safety, space planning and capital projects, performing arts facilities, continuing education and non-degree enrollment.

“Lock Haven is a special place that is on the right trajectory, and I’m confident that Rob is uniquely equipped to take the university to the next level,” said State System Interim Chancellor Dr. Karen M. Whitney. “He is joining the State System at an exciting time as we focus on student success and ensure that we are best organized to prepare students for the future. He will be a great addition to both Lock Haven University and the State System.”

Mr. Pignatello said he is honored to have been selected to serve as Lock Haven’s next president and looks forward to assuming the role.

“Lock Haven is a truly remarkable institution, and we have an exciting future before us. Together, we will confront the challenges that lie ahead and convert them into opportunities to even better serve our students and our region,” said Mr. Pignatello.

“I greatly anticipate working closely with the council of trustees, students, faculty, alumni, local leaders and System officials on fulfilling our vital mission. I am immensely proud to be a Bald Eagle and to join the Lock Haven community.”

The Board’s action today comes at the conclusion of a national search for a successor to Dr. Michael Fiorentino, who will retire at the end of the month after serving as Lock Haven’s president for nearly seven years. Dr. Donna Wilson, the university’s provost, will serve as interim president until Mr. Pignatello’s arrival on campus.

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